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Athlete Profile- Max Dennerstein

Name: Max Dennerstein

Age: 17

Sport: Athletics- Middle distance running

This week Max is competing in the Australian Junior Athletics Championships for the 3000m, which was his major goal starting out at the beginning of this season. 

With no strength training experience Max has now become a regular in the gym and is making some great improvements in strength, power and mobility. He has achieved 2 recent PB’s this season taking 18 seconds off his 3km time and another 10 seconds off his 1500m time, both since commencing regular strength training.

He shares his thoughts on how strength training is benefiting his running and how it fits into his training week:

Brief Sport History: 

I have been swimming and running since about 10, along with many other sports like AFL and soccer. I focused on triathlon for about 4 years from age 11-15. I had a few highlights including a win at Gold Coast Triathlon and 5th at Oceania Championships. I am now focusing on middle distance, 1500m and 3000m.

What got you into the sport?

My sister did it so that is how I got into triathlon and then made my way into running. My swim was letting me down significantly even after extra hours in the pool so in May of 2016 I made the switch to just focus on running.

Favourite Training Session?

6x 3min hills, always a tough one but I feel like I get the most gains from it.

Do you have any experience with strength training?

No, I did not do any strength before training with A+.

What are some of the benefits you are noticing?

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my lower body strength eg. Glutes, hamstrings and lower back. I feel much stronger and am handling the increase in running load a lot better. 

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How does it fit into your training schedule?

It works well for me to do my strength work in the afternoons on the harder run days, which means my easy days are completely easy and I can focus on recovery or do an easy run. For me this works out as Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Favourite strength exercise, why?

Single leg box squat. I found this to be quite hard to begin with and it really shows me when I am fatigued and when my legs are feeling fresh.


Aaron Ashdown